Canada as a place of never ending winter is a perception long believed by prospective travellers. They pack their suitcases in anticipation of blizzard like conditions and snowfalls at every hour. Upon arrival most are disappointed to not immediately see a snow leopard, or are saddened that their lift to their hotel isn’t via skidoo. This is because the stereotype that Canada is always freezing is not entirely true.
The misconception has dissuaded many tourists from travelling to Canada, overcome by baggage restrictions at the airport preventing them from taking that extra puffer jacket and hence being scared off by the prospect of freezing to death.
Instead the little brother of the United States is more so a country of extreme temperatures and weather conditions. The summer sees month long heatwaves where the temperature can reach 40° celsius, whereas the chilling winter months are at the opposite end of the scale, with temperatures of -40° being recorded. So yes, when it is winter it is definitely cold!
But still, with the cooler weather comes the chance to explore the natural environment that Canada is so famous for. As lakes freeze over, icicles set on tree limbs, snow falls on rocky outcrops and animals begin collecting rations before hibernating, the winter wonderland becomes a beautiful spectacle for all to see.
These environmental changes also draw in a large amount of visitors who make the most of the expansive, world famous ski fields, and try their luck at ice skating in the city centres. Skiing and snow related pursuits stimulate visitors and give them a new experience whilst also contributing to Canada’s economy.
Despite the positive implications of the Canadian winter for tourists and locals alike, the same can be said about the Canadian summer. As the lakes unfreeze canoeing takes place, and the mountains open up for trekking. Beavers can be spotted building dams, whilst bears may make an appearance on tracks through the Rockies.
It is the natural environment in all of it’s phases that makes Canada such a special place regardless of the season. Simply regarding it as a cold fortress that cannot be overcome is problematic in that tourists are dissuaded from visiting, or are unprepared for what they will actually experience.